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NATO theater of the absurd

NATO and the USA are creating conditions for unfolding antiwar movement in Europe

NATO theater of the absurd

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has held a traditional briefing ahead of a two-day meeting NATO defense ministers in late June and a meeting of the NATO-Russian Council slated for July 2. The briefing was attended by journalists accredited at the NATO headquarters. The secretary general traditionally just as he has done in recent years filled his speech with propaganda concoctions seeking to disguise the guilt of the USA for militarizing Europe.

Mr. Stoltenberg's speech was as brilliant as usual. In a traditional Scandinavian equanimous manner he was lying about the need to defend against the non-existent Russia's aggression, was accusing Moscow of breaching the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, was speaking about serious NATO concerns about this, and even gave an ultimatum to the Kremlin "to come into compliance with the INF Treaty by August 2", which requires destroying its cruise missiles "which violate the treaty." He pretended not to know that it had been the USA that had repeatedly breached and later quitted this treaty, and only then Russia followed its example. There is almost no way to return to the treaty.

But the NATO secretary general spread himself in front of journalists as if this had never happened, as if he was staging a play in a one-man theater of the absurd, where all the roles had long been distributed, monologues learnt and the stage setting would follow each other despite having been repeated not once and not twice, while the audience knew all the acts of this play, including the final. Neither Mr. Stoltenberg, not his stage directors in Washington, nor his prompter, US Permanent Representative to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison, can offer nothing new to the audience. They keep on deceiving common Europeans saying that Washington and NATO will look for a possible response to the termination of the INF Treaty in the sphere of conventional (non-nuclear) weapons, and what is more keep on promising Europeans that the USA after the withdrawal from the treaty is not going to station intermediate-range missiles in Europe. This is a blatant lie.

The USA on behalf of President Donald Trump, his National Security Advisor John Bolton, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, has never said it wouldn’t deploy its intermediate-range missile on the European continent. Apparently, Russia can be threatened with such missiles only from European countries that are NATO members and that in fact have lost their sovereignty being completely submitted to Washington's will. Any tricky promises of Jens Stoltenberg of the opposite are nothing but mere lies and cheap disguise aimed at remitting watchfulness and preventing until time comes antiwar protests of Europeans who later will just face the fact that missiles are already in Europe and there is no way back. And Russia is guilty of everything.

Mr. Stoltenberg, just as his US deputy Ms. Kay Bailey Hutchison, is lying about the non-nuclear response of NATO and the USA to the termination of the INF Treaty. Well, first of all, about 200 American B61 gravity nuclear bombs are stored on the European territory, in Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Turkey and Germany (the USA is the only country in the world that keeps its tactical nuclear weapons in foreign countries, putting them at risk of finding themselves in the furnace of a nuclear war since the first minutes). Secondly, any ground, sea-launched and air-launched missiles, be they tactical, intermediate-range, strategic, ballistic or cruise, are always made the way that a conventional warhead can easily be replaced with a nuclear one. There is no other option.

Serious people in Europe, experts and analysts who have no connections to the USA and NATO, and representatives of public movements understand this. But their voices are so far very weak. The majority of media are owned by corporations that don’t need quarrels with Washington and Brussels. Moreover, the threat of targeting Russian missiles at positions of deployed American missiles hasn't knocked on their door. Today, there is no pan-European antiwar movement that in 1970s-1980s led to the conclusion of the Soviet-American treaty on the elimination of intermediate-range missiles and made Washington remove from the Old World 846 nuclear missiles. However, separate antiwar rallies are taking place occasionally.

Some time ago one of the largest such rallies took place in southwestern Germany near the Ramstein Air Base of the USA. The Reuters news agency citing police reports said that from 3,000 to 4,000 people attended the rally near the base, which is the headquarters of the US Air Forces in Europe. The rally organizers said from 5,000 to 7,000 people attended it. They demanded to ban flights of American offensive and reconnaissance drones that are operated from the USA in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Syria, while the Ramstein Air Base is a mediator in their operations. The protesters believe that the use of German soil for combat actions is a blatant violation of the German Constitution. Moreover, they believe that there is American nuclear weapons at the base, which of course is the truth, and demand to remove it from there as it poses the threat of nuclear contamination if a war breaks out.

One of the antiwar activists, Wolfgang Jung, said, "our country must fulfill promises of politicians: never again will war come from the German territory. And Ramstein is exactly preparing grounds for military clashes with Russia, because in addition to the drone operation center, there is the anti-ballistic missile command center that will operate the systems that are being created in Romania and Poland."

Of course, the rally near the Ramstein base of the USA that was surrounded by German antiwar activists is just one episode in unfolding European movements for peace and against war and against American military bases. There is no reason for Brussels and Washington to fail to understand that the more anti-Russian rhetoric they use, the more they will demand their European allies to expand their investments into joint defense, the stronger and deeper will people understand who is the real aggressor and poses threats to peace in Europe.

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